Dealloying progress during nanoporous structure evolution analyzed by in situ resistometry
The progress of dealloying, an electrochemical synthesis method capable of producing nanoporous structures with bulk outer dimensions, is studied by in situ resistometry. The resistance increases by three orders of magnitude while nanoporous gold or platinum is formed. Simultaneous monitoring of charge flow and electrical resistance increase proves to be an ideal combination for analyzing the etching progress, which in accordance with recent studies can be demonstrated to occur in two steps referred to as ‘primary (or bulk) dealloying’ and ‘secondary (or ligament) dealloying’. A model is developed, which describes the resistance increase during etching as governed by the reduction of the master alloy backbone in favor of the nanoporous structure. This new approach allows an evaluation of the etching front propagation (primary dealloying) as well as the status of the already porous structure (secondary dealloying).